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THE THREE BARRIERS:
NOTES ON MR. DARWIN'S
“ORIGIN OF SPECIES."
I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth
Ergo ipsas quamvis angusti terminus ævi
Georgic. IV. 206--209.
There are three that bear witness on earth
and these three agree in
one. ---l John v. 8.
EDINBURGH & LONDON: BLACKWOOD & SONS.
OXFORD: J. H. PARKER.
The sudden passage from an irrational to a rational animal is a phenomenon of a distinct kind from the passage from the more simple to the more perfect forms of animal organization and instinct. To pretend that such a step, or rather leap, can be part of a regular series of changes in the animal world, is TO STRAIN ANALOGY BEYOND ALL REASONABLE BOUNDS.-Lyell's Principles of Geology, B. I. ch. ix.
I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed by the Creator.
It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms
* have all been produced by laws acting around us. There is grandeur in this view of life.--Origin of Species, ch. xiv.
King : How do you, pretty lady?
Ophelia: Well, God 'ield you! They say the owl was a baker's daughter. Alack! we know what we are, but know not what we may be.---Hamlet, Act IV. Sc. v.
TO THE RIGHT REVEREND WALTER JOHN TROWER, D.D.
LATE BISHOP OF GLASGOW AND GALLOWAY,
AND TO WILLIAM LESLIE, ESQ. OF WARTHILL,
M.P. FOR ABERDEENSHIRE,
THIS VOLUME IS, WITH MUCH RESPECT AND REGARI),
THESE pages are the expansion of a Lecture written on Easter Monday and Tuesday of last year, and delivered the day after, in fulfilment of an engagement, at a small county town in the North. Somewhat varied, it was spoken a second time on behalf of a Mechanics’ Institute in Aberdeen ; and it was repeated a few weeks ago, in the same city, by request of the Young Men's Christian Association.
In acceding to wishes to which special weight was due, by preparing these sheets for the press, I have not thought it necessary to efface the original lecture-mould, or to expel allusions to which the statement now made will supply the key. The opening sentences, for example, are only suitable, in strictness, to the one occasion which suggested then, and to an address widely different from that into which this has since developed ; but it seems pardonable to retain, even at some sacrifice of rigorous congruity, a tribute, however slender, to a great man gone.
To more than one living leader of British Science is the Appendix indebted for fresh decisions of the most authoritative kind on questions of the first importance. As regards the perfectness of the Human Eye, or the rank of the Human Brain, the testimony of Sir David Brewster and of Professor Owen ought to be an “end of controversy ;” and a weightier judgment than that of Professor Kelland as to the evidence of geometrical forethought impressed on insect architecture is nowhere obtainable. To the prompt courtesy with which this distinguished aid has in each case been accorded, I must associate that of the accomplished Professor of Botany in the University of Aberdeen. The wood-cuts are mostly copies from “Siluria,” and from the works of Professors Owen, Lindley, &c. They owe their excellence (with two exceptions, also meriting my best thanks) to the artistic skill of a gifted young friend.
MAY 1, 1861.